March 25th, 1979
Late afternoon– Wendy and I are in a large old Victorian apartments, it seems to be ours. The room we are in is dark, thickly carpeted, with big overstuffed furniture, dark corners bric-a-brac. A man is at the door. I let him in– he is a trick of mine. I am surprised that he is there. He is middle aged, dressed well in a dark blue suit– very distinguished, quite formal. His wife is suddenly in the room with us. I am appalled that he would bring his wife to my apartment socially. She is nearly a dowager type. Fat, obviously rich, over made-up. Slightly gaudy. She and I are seated on the sofa– he, on a chair at the end of the sofa, and Wendy across the room. There is an air of bitchiness in her conversation. She knows my sexual intimacy with her husband (who, all this time is acting very meek, doting on her) and is treating it lightheartedly, but in a sneering way. I feel awkward and threatened by her, but respond by feigned self-assurance and flirtations with the man. She is treating him with an imperiousness one might approach a chauffeur or butler with. They remind me of Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton in “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” All the while that he is obsequiously responding to her conversation, he is casting dark, knowing looks at me. I am squirming in my seat. She may be denigrating him publicly, he may be allowing himself to be treated like a servant. But, when our eyes meet through the shadowed room, he knows that I know what a tiger he was in bed. It is our delicious secret. She offers him a cake, or perhaps tea, He takes it and she leaves the room. He coughs and grabs at his throat and drops to his knees. He seems to be suffocating. Panicked, Wendy and I jump to our feet. He coughs and blood surges out of his mouth. “Oh, my God,” I scream, “Wendy, what should we do?” I grab the telephone and start to call an ambulance. I was quite pleased with my quick thinking. Proud of myself. Still spurting blood from his mouth he started crawling, dragging himself, across the floor toward me. I moved forward to try and help him. I realized that he was desperately trying to pull himself up to jerk the phone from my hands. I pulled back and tried to dial again. His attempts to reach me and the phone were superhuman– he was obviously dying and yet was exerting an incredible show of power. Suddenly I was terrified of him. Suddenly I realized what he was trying to do– he was trying to wrench the phone from me because he intended to kill me. His power seemed to be growing by the second and I knew that he was in fact capable of rising off the floor and killing me. He rose to his knees. I lunged for the front door when I realized that Wendy was trapped on the other side of the room– there was no way for her to pass by him and make it to the door. He was almost to his feet now. The look on his face was horrifying. I saw Sadie by the front door and I called to her– I remember the terror of wondering if she would mind me and come to me. I knew he would kill her too. She does come to me. It is night outside. With Sadie under my arm I rush out into the street– looking back for one terrifying moment to see him almost on his feet and Wendy a shadowy silhouette trapped against the dark wall. I run into the street screaming for help– exhilarated by getting out by knowing that I must have help fast because any moment he will be out that door.
Not only do cars not stop to help me, but I am desperate when I realize that there is something sinister about the drivers as they speed past me on this highway. They are all part of this plot, too. There is no help. Now I am back inside the house– with Wendy and Chippy. The man is not there anymore, but they are outside and we must get out of the house some way. All of us are terrified. I am staring at the partially opened front door into a dark menacing hallway when I wake up.